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A08686 Summary:

BILL NOA08686A
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORKim
 
COSPNSRMosley, Steck, Solages, Quart, Dickens
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add 4-b, St Fin L; amd 301, Fin Serv L; amd 5, UDC Act
 
Establishes the empire state inclusive value ledger establishment and administration act to create a master account and system of individual wallets to make and receive payments to state entities and residents of the state; authorizes the disbursement of a portion of unclaimed remittances to workers who have been furloughed or unable to work due to Coronavirus.
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A08686 Actions:

BILL NOA08686A
 
10/23/2019referred to banks
01/08/2020referred to banks
04/08/2020amend and recommit to banks
04/08/2020print number 8686a
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A08686 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A8686A             Revised 4/22/2020
 
SPONSOR: Kim
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the state finance law, the financial services law and the New York state urban development corporation act, in relation to establishing the empire state inclusive value ledger establishment and administration act   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The bill seeks to establish the Empire State Inclusive Value Ledger, or Inclusive Value Ledger (IVL) for short, as a solution for providing a publicly-run, not-for-profit means for value-creating activities to be remunerated and for un- and underbanked New Yorkers to be included in the broader state economy.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1.provides the short title and citation of the bill as the "Empire State Inclusive Value Ledger Establishment and Administration Act." Section 2 is the legislative intent. In New York State, many residents lack basic and non-extractive banking services that serve as a means for the accumulation, storage, and transaction of value. Consequently, far too many individuals and households in the state are excluded from participating in the formal economy. A workable definition for money and currency, namely, as that "which counts in a system of value accounting, storage, and payment" is also provided. This definition enables one to see the material consequences of shortages in aggregate currency supplies in states and local municipalities, in which the remuneration of activities that add value to a community and the invest- ment in public goods is made more difficult. The solution lies in establishing a publicly-run, not-for-profit system of digital wallets, all of which are connected to a master account that facilitates peer-to-peer transactions between the individual payment accounts. In this manner, the fifty-five billion dollars in New York State tax credits and social benefits can be rendered fungible for disbursement to New Yorkers' accounts; conversely, payments from the individual to the state (such as paying taxes) can be done easily through such a payments infrastructure. In the advent of the novel Coronavirus pandemic and the proliferation of COVID-19 cases in the State of New York, the state economy's vulnerabil- ities have been made apparent. Thousands of individuals, particularly wage-laborers and elderly people, are being hit with the worst of the economic fallout from the pandemic. The compounding of the absence of individual savings, the drastic rise in unemployment, lack of a sound social safety net, and the sheer fall in aggregate demand and consumer spending has made it apparent that a public payments and remuneration platform is needed. New York State currently has sixteen billion dollars in unclaimed remittances, up to five billion of which may be liquidated upon the Governor issuing an executive emergency declaration of disaster. Section 3 amends the state finance law with a new section 4-b. The terms "master account," "individual wallet," "resident," "value ledger," "state entity," and "payment service provider" are defined. The section tasks the Department of Financial Services, the Department of Taxation and Finance, the Office of the New York State Comptroller, the New York State and Local Retirement System, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Social Services with the establishment of the Inclusive Value Ledger, and directs state entities to disburse funds to residents' digital wallets. At least five billion and three hundred thirty million dollars of the State's sixteen billion in unclaimed remittances are to be made imme- diately available to furloughed workers; any surplus remaining is to be made available for remittance to small business in the State and distributed according to a pro rata formula that the State Comptroller is tasked with developing. The peer-to-peer mechanics are outlined in this section. Commercial financial institutions that are chartered to do business in New York State are also mandated to provide interoperability between the individual wallets. The Department of Taxation and Finance is tasked with the promotion of use of the Inclusive Value Ledger, with the objective of banking the unbanked population in New York, and maximizing inclusivity for the state's most marginalized residents for the endeavors of value creation, wealth accumulation, and commercial exchange. Lastly, the Department of Financial Services is obligated to develop a smartphone app for the Inclusive Value Ledger, ensuring compliance by private financial insti- tutions, compliance with state and federal banking, privacy, and regula- tory laws, and to prohibit the for-profit extractive activities by private entities on the Inclusive Value Ledger. Section 4 amends section 301 of the financial services law with the addition of a new subsection (d) that directs the superintendent of financial services of the state to coordinate with corresponding agen- cies in other states and territories of the United States to resolve any extant regulatory concerns. Section 5 amends section 5 of section 1 of chapter 174 of the laws of 1968, colloquially known as the New York State Urban Development Corpo- ration Act, by adding three new subdivisions that mandate the Empire State Development Corporation, in conjunction with the aforementioned agencies, to clarify the privacy regime of the Inclusive Value Ledger infrastructure. Specifically, activities and data on the Inclusive Value Ledger is not to be sold to nongovernmental entities, with such informa- tion being cryptographically anonymized whenever possible. Moreover, personal data is to be shared with law enforcement only on the strict condition of compliance with the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. The Corporation is also responsible for the exploration of the creation of potential value ledgers in other states, as well as a pilot program of a nationwide value ledger in consultation with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Federal Reserve Board of the United States, and the Department of Treasury of the United States. Section 6 provides the conditions for severability. Section 7 provides the effective date.   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE): Two primary differences exist between A8686 and A8686A: 1. The legislative findings that reflect the economic realities of the novel Coronavirus pandemic in New York State, as well as the new policy outlined in Section 3 that directs the immediate availability of the sixteen billion in unclaimed remittances to New Yorkers 2. New policy to prescribe regulations that ensure the security and fidelity of the Inclusive Value Ledger's privacy regime   JUSTIFICATION: The Empire State Inclusive Value Ledger is a transformational new savings and payments platform that will massively accelerate value creation and commerce in the State of New York by steadily growing the health and wealth of New York State citizens, businesses, and communi- ties. The digital technology that undergirds it enables New Yorkers to generate, capture, and exchange value that has gone untapped for liter- ally centuries. Presently we, our state, and our communities leave untold wealth, health, and value potential "on the table," by denying ourselves the means of being rewarded in spendable form for much of the value we add in our day-to-day lives. This is especially true of so-called "soft work" - educating and mentoring of our youth, environ- mental cleanup and preservation, community service and infrastructure- provision, care of the ailing and elderly, etc. that now goes monetarily uncompensated, especially when done by women, young people, retirees, and other concerned citizens. The Inclusive Value Ledger will capture and monetize the work of a stay- at-home, parent taking care of the family, a mentor looking after a distressed youth, a volunteer cleaning up public parks, etc., and trans- form it into spendable form by crediting those who do such work with "care points" on a secure, smartphone-accessible digital ledger. These points then can then be liquidated for other credits, services, or need- ed products on the same platform; or can be "cashed in" for end-of-year tax and other state remittance credits. The new technology underlying this "Public Venmo" is a universally trusted digital debit-credit ledger system through which citizens can accumulate and trade tax and other state remittance credits with businesses and one another for the products and services that make up the day-to-day business of life. This will amount to a "complementary currency" system that fills all the gaps left by dollar-scarcity in presently overlooked regions and sectors of New York and its economy. And this will in turn massively boost commerce, productive activity, and wealth-generation, throughout our state. Tax Credits and Benefits Estimate Tax Credit or Benefit Approximate Value of Disbursement/Cost of Service Office of Temporary and Disabled Assistance(OTDA); Including public assistance, NYS SSI/SSP, SNAP $1,404,346,000 Earned Income Tax Credits(NYS+NYC) $2,069,164,000 Noncustodial Earned Income Tax Credits NYS+NYC) $2,467,000 Real Property Tax Credit $20,539,000 School Tax Relief Program (STAR) $2,175,995,000 Child and Dependent Care Tax Credits $155,127,000 Student Grant and Award Programs $1,184,945,000 Medicaid $47,551,153,000 AIDS Institute $103,495,000 Essential Plan $431,367,000 Children's Health Insurance $482,087,000 Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage $132,580,000 Total Sum: $55,713,265,000 (approx. $55.7 billion) Like fertile soil that has long gone unwatered, New York's "care econo- my," "community economies," and broader economy will bloom into abun- dance abundance that just isn't possible when pervasive community-work, care-work, and so-called "women's work" goes uncompensated and non- transferrable. By enabling all forms of value to be stored, saved and transferred in spendable form, the Inclusive Value Ledger will boost commerce and care, enabling all New Yorkers and their communities not only to grow, but to flourish.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 10/23/2019 referred to banks 01/08/2020 referred to banks   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately upon passage.
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A08686 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         8686--A
 
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    October 23, 2019
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of A. KIM, MOSLEY, STECK, SOLAGES, QUART, DICKENS --
          read once and referred to the Committee on Banks -- recommitted to the
          Committee on Banks in accordance with  Assembly  Rule  3,  sec.  2  --
          committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and
          recommitted to said committee

        AN ACT to amend the state finance law, the financial  services  law  and
          the  New  York state urban development corporation act, in relation to
          establishing the empire state inclusive value ledger establishment and
          administration act
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  This  act  shall be known and may be cited as the "empire
     2  state inclusive value ledger establishment and administration act".
     3    § 2. Legislative intent. Many New  Yorkers,  be  they  individuals  or
     4  small businesses, lack access to retail banking services that can enable
     5  them  to  accumulate,  store,  and  transfer value in simple commercial,
     6  financial, testamentary and gift transactions on non-exploitative terms.
     7  Many New Yorkers also lack access to basic retail payment services  that
     8  can  enable  them to exchange value for value in retail and other trans-
     9  actions on non-exploitative terms. The aforementioned failures of access
    10  operate not only to marginalize and exclude large numbers of New Yorkers
    11  from ordinary interactions of the kind that underwrite  full  membership
    12  in society, but also to impede or obstruct multiple commercial and other
    13  transactions  that  determine  the size and scope of the state's economy
    14  and the prosperity of its residents. Since a money or currency  is  what
    15  'counts'  in  a  system  of  value accounting, storage, and payment, the
    16  aforementioned failures of access also operate to limit  the  state  and
    17  its  localities' aggregate currency supplies, which in turn prevents the
    18  remuneration of many value-adding  activities,  including  care  of  the
    19  needy,  maintenance  of  local  infrastructures,  and provision of other

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD13914-02-0

        A. 8686--A                          2
 
     1  public goods. As a result, the failures of access discourage such  valu-
     2  able activities from being undertaken at all.
     3    A  system of individual digital wallets or payment accounts, linked to
     4  a single master account that enables payments to move between such indi-
     5  vidual wallets or payment accounts, is now easy to construct and  admin-
     6  ister  with the use of secure digital payment technologies. The state of
     7  New York annually disburses more than fifty-five billion dollars in  the
     8  form  of  tax  credits, procurement payments, pension payouts, and other
     9  program disbursals, all of which can readily be disbursed via  a  system
    10  of individual wallets or accounts linked to a master account.  The state
    11  of  New York also receives more than fifty-five billion dollars annually
    12  in the form of service payments, tax monies, licensing fees, civil fines
    13  and other remittances, all of which can be readily paid  into  a  master
    14  account from individual wallets or accounts of the kind just described.
    15    A system of individual digital wallets or payment accounts linked to a
    16  master account could accordingly function as a state-provided and admin-
    17  istered  payment  infrastructure,  in  and  through which value could be
    18  accumulated, stored, grown and exchanged in 'real-time,'  with  no  need
    19  for fees or other forms of exploitative value extraction, thereby assur-
    20  ing  that  all New Yorkers are (a) 'banked,' (b) able to create, receive
    21  and grow wealth, and (c) empowered to participate  fully  in  a  growing
    22  state economy suffering no shortage of currency or forgoing of commerce.
    23    The  state of New York now has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in
    24  the nation, while the novel Coronavirus outbreak that is spreading  this
    25  grave  illness  has  just been designated a global pandemic by the World
    26  Health Organization. New York's elderly  and  wage-laboring  communities
    27  are  already  being especially hard-hit by the Coronavirus outbreak, and
    28  will be much harder-hit in the weeks to come, as the elderly  are  espe-
    29  cially vulnerable to COVID-19 and wage-laborers have few options to work
    30  from  home,  few  healthcare options in the event that working in public
    31  exposes them to Coronavirus, and virtually  no  accumulated  savings  to
    32  fall  back  upon  in the event that they either have to leave work to be
    33  hospitalized or are furloughed from work as New  York's,  the  nation's,
    34  and  the  world's  economies contract in response to diminished consumer
    35  spending while the Coronavirus outbreak continues.
    36    New York's local economies  are  especially  vulnerable  both  to  the
    37  aforementioned  contraction  itself  and to the further contraction that
    38  will occur if wage-laborers  become  ill  or  are  furloughed  in  large
    39  numbers,  meaning that measures that buttress or boost consumer spending
    40  will be especially important to New York's economy in the  days,  weeks,
    41  and months just ahead. New York currently has sixteen billion dollars in
    42  unclaimed  remittances  according  to the New York State comptroller, of
    43  which one-third, or just over  five  billion  dollars,  can  legally  be
    44  liquidated at once in the event that the governor should issue an execu-
    45  tive emergency declaration of disaster.
    46    §  3.  The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 4-b to
    47  read as follows:
    48    § 4-b. Empire state inclusive value ledger establishment and  adminis-
    49  tration.  1.  Definitions.  As used in this section, the following terms
    50  shall have the following meanings:
    51    a. "Master account" means a digital account which enables payments  to
    52  be transferred between individual wallets.
    53    b. "Individual wallet" means a digital account which: (i) is linked to
    54  a  master account; (ii) enables a resident to send or receive payment to
    55  any entity of the state or to another resident; (iii) allows value to be
    56  accumulated, stored, grown and exchanged; and

        A. 8686--A                          3

     1    (iv) is not subject to fees or other value extraction for use  of  the
     2  individual wallet.
     3    c. "Resident" means an individual or a domestic corporation or foreign
     4  corporation authorized to do business in the state.
     5    d. "Value ledger" means the empire state inclusive value ledger estab-
     6  lished pursuant to subdivision two of this section.
     7    e.  "State  entity"  means  any  department,  board, bureau, division,
     8  commission, committee, council, office of the state,  or  other  govern-
     9  mental entity with statewide jurisdiction.
    10    f.  "Payment  service  provider" means an entity which provides online
    11  services for accepting electronic payments  by  a  variety  of  methods,
    12  including,  but  not  limited to, by credit card, direct debit, and bank
    13  transfer.
    14    2. The department of  financial  services,  in  cooperation  with  the
    15  department  of  taxation  and  finance, the office of the New York state
    16  comptroller, the New York state and local retirement system, the depart-
    17  ment of labor, and the department  of  social  services  shall  develop,
    18  establish, and maintain a value storage and payment platform to be known
    19  as  the  empire state inclusive value ledger. The empire state inclusive
    20  value ledger shall consist of a digital master account and coordinate  a
    21  system  of individual wallets which shall be maintained and administered
    22  by the urban development corporation as described herein.
    23    3. All funds disbursed to residents by a state  entity  or  any  other
    24  state  instrumentality  shall be made out of the master account to indi-
    25  vidual wallets linked to the master account via the value ledger and any
    26  remittance made to a state entity or other state  instrumentality  by  a
    27  resident  shall  be  permitted to be made, at the option of the resident
    28  making the remittance, from the resident's individual wallet.
    29    4.  One-third of the sixteen billion dollars in unclaimed  remittances
    30  to  the  state,  or  at  least five billion three hundred thirty million
    31  dollars, shall be made immediately available for remittance to New York-
    32  ers who have been furloughed or otherwise unable  to  work  due  to  the
    33  Coronavirus outbreak of two thousand twenty.  Any excess funds remaining
    34  after  disbursements to such furloughed and otherwise unable to work New
    35  Yorkers shall be made available for remittance to small local businesses
    36  pursuant to a pro rata formula to be developed by the state comptroller.
    37  Additional one-third increments of the unclaimed  remittances  shall  be
    38  made  as permitted by laws, rules, and regulations governing the uses of
    39  such funds as and if necessary.
    40    5.  All residents shall have the ability  to  make  payments  to,  and
    41  receive  payments  from,  other residents through links among individual
    42  wallets on the value ledger. Each payment shall be effected by a  simul-
    43  taneous crediting of the payee's individual wallet and an equal debiting
    44  of  the  payer's  individual  wallet.  Such payments shall be able to be
    45  directed by the means of  payment  cards,  wire  services,  smart-device
    46  apps, or other electronic funds transfer.
    47    6.  Any  resident  making  payment  to, or receiving payment from, any
    48  other resident may require that  the  payee  or  payer  accept  or  make
    49  payment  via  the  system  of  individual  wallets  on the value ledger;
    50  provided, however, that residents  who  make  payments  to,  or  receive
    51  payments  from,  other  residents shall not be required to transact with
    52  each other on the value ledger in the event that no party to the  trans-
    53  action  opts  to  do so and further provided that no transacting party's
    54  opting not to do so is coerced by any other transacting party or associ-
    55  ates of such transacting party.

        A. 8686--A                          4
 
     1    7. Any  commercial  bank,  other  financial  institution,  or  payment
     2  service provider doing business in the state shall be required to:
     3    a. provide for full interoperability between individual wallets on the
     4  value ledger and any demand deposit or transaction account maintained by
     5  the  commercial  bank,  other  financial institution, or payment service
     6  provider for the holders of such individual wallets; and
     7    b. permit all holders of individual wallets to make deposits into  and
     8  withdrawals  from  such  individual  wallet  via  any  automated  teller
     9  machine, teller window, or other  deposit  or  withdrawal  facility  the
    10  bank,  financial  institution,  or  payment  service  provider offers to
    11  customers. There shall be no pecuniary  or  other  charge  assessed  for
    12  access  to  individual  wallets; any costs associated with access to and
    13  use of individual wallets  shall  be  considered  an  incident  of  such
    14  commercial bank, other financial institution, or payment service provid-
    15  er's status as a publicly licensed financial utility.
    16    8.  The  department  of financial services shall also develop and make
    17  available at no cost a downloadable smart-device application to be known
    18  as the empire state inclusive value ledger app through  which  residents
    19  can  access  and  receive  and  make payments into and out of individual
    20  wallets. All entities operating in the state that  accept  payments  via
    21  smart-device  applications  of  any  kind  shall  be  required to accept
    22  payments via the value ledger application at the  option  of  any  payer
    23  wishing to pay via such value ledger application.
    24    9.  The  department  of  taxation  and finance, the New York state and
    25  local retirement system, and the department of social services,  as  the
    26  state's principal disbursers and receivers of funds, credits, and remit-
    27  tances,  shall exercise special care in assisting with and promoting the
    28  establishment and wide use of the value ledger payments system, in order
    29  to hasten both:
    30    a. the full 'banking' of the state's 'unbanked' individuals and  small
    31  businesses; and
    32    b.  inclusion  of  the state's currently marginalized residents in the
    33  process of value creation, wealth accumulation, and commercial exchange.
    34    10. The department of financial services shall:
    35    a. ensure compliance by all banks, other financial  institutions,  and
    36  payment service providers with the requirements of this section;
    37    b.  prohibit  and prevent any other person or company in the financial
    38  services or payments industries  from  exploiting  value  ledger  wallet
    39  holders  or otherwise subverting the value-creating and commerce-promot-
    40  ing purposes of this section, including by offering advances  on  antic-
    41  ipated state remittances for fees; and
    42    c.  ensure  compliance with state banking, regulatory, and digital and
    43  financial privacy laws by all entities that oversee or transact via  the
    44  value ledger. The department, in coordination with the urban development
    45  corporation,  shall  also coordinate with any relevant regulatory agency
    46  of the United States to ensure compliance with federal banking,  regula-
    47  tory, employee benefit and any other applicable federal laws.
    48    11.  The department of financial services shall be authorized to coor-
    49  dinate with its counterpart agencies in other states and territories  of
    50  the  United States in connection with any common regulatory needs impli-
    51  cated or challenges raised by state value ledgers.
    52    § 4. Section 301 of the financial services law is amended by adding  a
    53  new subsection (d) to read as follows:
    54    (d)  The  superintendent shall have the power to direct the department
    55  to develop, establish, and maintain the  empire  state  inclusive  value
    56  ledger  established pursuant to section four-b of the state finance law.

        A. 8686--A                          5
 
     1  The superintendent shall also have the power to direct the department to
     2  coordinate with agencies in other states and territories of  the  United
     3  States the regulatory needs or challenges raised by state value ledgers.
     4    §  5.  Section  5  of  section  1  of chapter 174 of the laws of 1968,
     5  constituting the New York state urban development  corporation  act,  is
     6  amended  by  adding  three  new  subdivisions  31,  32 and 33 to read as
     7  follows:
     8    (31) To maintain and administer, in consultation with  the  department
     9  of  financial  services,  the department of labor, and the department of
    10  social services, the empire state  inclusive  value  ledger  established
    11  pursuant  to  section  four-b  of  the state finance law, with a view to
    12  encouraging the expansion of commerce and the broad growth  and  accumu-
    13  lation  of  wealth  in the state.   The corporation, in consultation and
    14  coordination with the department of financial services,  the  department
    15  of  labor, the department of social services, the department of taxation
    16  and finance and the New York state and local  retirement  system,  shall
    17  observe  and  build  into the empire state inclusive value ledger strict
    18  compliance with the highest standards of commercial and  financial  data
    19  privacy.    Such  standards  shall establish, at a minimum, that: (a) no
    20  wealth accumulation or spending activity of any sort that makes  use  of
    21  the  empire state inclusive value ledger shall be shared with, intimated
    22  to, or sold to any non-governmental person or entity; (b) any sharing of
    23  information with governmental entities shall be solely for  purposes  of
    24  optimizing  administration of the empire state inclusive value ledger or
    25  for law enforcement purposes; (c) any personal data that  is  not  being
    26  used  solely  to assist the person whose data is being accessed and that
    27  is being used for administrative  purposes  shall  be  cryptographically
    28  anonymized;  (d)  any personal data shared with law enforcement authori-
    29  ties shall be shared solely in strict compliance with the fourth  amend-
    30  ment  to  the  United  States  constitution and any and all other state,
    31  federal and local legal constraints that protect the rights of suspected
    32  or accused persons and the empire state inclusive value ledger shall not
    33  lessen the degree of legally assured data privacy of  New  Yorkers;  and
    34  (e)  any and all practicable measures possible shall be taken to prevent
    35  accidental data privacy breaches stemming from  outside  or  inadvertent
    36  disclosure.
    37    (32)  To  explore  and negotiate possible interstate compacts enabling
    38  the growth of a value ledger system across multiple states, regions, and
    39  territories of the United States.  The  corporation,  as  the  principal
    40  administrator  of  the  empire state inclusive value ledger, shall reach
    41  out to and consult with counterpart agencies in  other  states,  with  a
    42  view  to  assisting  with  the  development of similar value storage and
    43  payment platforms in such states and  with  the  goal  of  the  possible
    44  interoperability of such platforms with the empire state inclusive value
    45  ledger.
    46    (33)  To  explore  and  negotiate possible pilot programs enabling the
    47  growth and spread of a value ledger system  across  the  broader  United
    48  States.    As  the principal administrator of the empire state inclusive
    49  value ledger established pursuant to section four-b of the state finance
    50  law, the corporation shall be authorized to reach  out  to  and  consult
    51  with  the federal reserve bank of New York, the federal reserve board of
    52  the United States, and the department of treasury of the United  States,
    53  with  a view to possibly assisting such entities with the development of
    54  a national value storage and payment  platform  similar  to  the  empire
    55  state inclusive value ledger.

        A. 8686--A                          6
 
     1    § 6. Severability. If any provision of this act, or any application of
     2  any  provision of this act, is held to be invalid, that shall not affect
     3  the validity or effectiveness of any other provision of this act, or  of
     4  any  other  application of any provision of this act, which can be given
     5  effect  without  that  provision  or  application;  and to that end, the
     6  provisions and applications of this act are severable.
     7    § 7. This act shall take effect immediately.
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